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Health and Safety for New and Young Workers

With so many issues facing a new or young teacher one of the last things on your mind is yourself and the very last thing is whether your work place is healthy and will keep you safe.  You will be comforted to know that there are processes and people in place if you have any questions or concerns or are faced with an unhealthy or unsafe situation.

You have 4 rights according to the Workers Compensation Act:

  1. The right to know the dangers in the workplace 
  2. The right to participate in workplace health and safety activities 
  3. The right to refuse unsafe work 
  4. The right to no discrimination. You cannot be fired or disciplined for participating in health and safety activities. 

The first person to contact whenever you have any questions is the staff rep at your school.  In a health and safety issue, the staff rep would refer you to the health and safety rep. 

If you are injured or suffer from an occupational disease or are threatened in a violent incident, you need to:

  1. Report to the First Aid Attendant
  2. Report to the administrator and complete the WorksafeBC 6A form
  3. Contact your staff and/or health and safety rep
  4. Report to Worksafe BC via teleclaim at 1 888-WORKERS 
  5. When you get a letter back from WorksafeBC, send a copy to the BCTF WCB advocate who will help you through the process.

As a new and young worker, the Occupational Health and Safety Regulation Part 3 which deals with rights and responsibilities says that “An employer must ensure that before a young or new worker begins work in a workplace, the young or new worker is given health and safety orientation and training specific to that young or new worker's workplace.”  This means that in every new school or class you teach, the employer must orient you to the risks and procedures to mitigate these risks before you start work.

New and Young Worker Definitions:

3.22 Definitions 

In sections 3.23 to 3.25:

"new worker" means any worker who is
(a) new to the workplace,
(b) returning to a workplace where the hazards in that workplace have changed during the worker's absence,
(c) affected by a change in the hazards of a workplace, or
(d) relocated to a new workplace if the hazards in that workplace are different from the hazards in the worker's previous workplace;
"young worker" means any worker who is under 25 years of age.
       [Enacted by B.C. Reg. 105/2007, effective July 26, 2007.]

The following is a list of orientation and training you should receive:

___  Name and contact information of worker’s supervisor

___  Employer’s responsibilities and rights under Workers Compensation Act

___  Worker’s responsibilities and rights under the Workers Compensation Act

___  How to report unsafe conditions

___  The right to refuse unsafe work

___  Workplace health and safety rules

___  Hazards including risks from robbery, assault or confrontation

___  Working alone policy and procedures

___  Violence in the workplace policy and procedures

___  The use of personal protective equipment

___  Location of first aid facilities and how to summon first aid

___  How to report incidences or injuries

___  Instruction and demonstration of work tasks or processes

___  Employer’s health and safety program

___  WHMIS information

___  Contact information of health and safety committee and worker representative(s)

___  Process to access further orientation or training.



BCTF Health and Safety Officer 
Toni Grewal    
604 871-1891     
1 800 663-9163 ext 1891 
  BCTF WCB Advocate
Luke Olver
604 871-1890
1 800 663-9163 ext 1890



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